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Archive for June, 2008

Brighter May Sales Figures

We can happily report the first bit of good sales news in many, many months.

The Government’s 30percent and 50 percent tax incentives seem to have worked, if recent sales patterns are a guide.

The new car market is showing clear signs of recovery. Whilst sales were down 15 percent year on year for May this compared favourably with the 20percent drop in the first four months of the year.

The Government is giving big business a 30 percent tax rebate on car purchases, providing orders are placed by 30th June 2009, whilst small business ($2mil p.a. or less) will enjoy  a 50 percent tax bonus extending to December 2009 on their vehicle purchases.

So who were the big winners in May?

Four wheel drives did well, but the most impressive figures came from Korean car maker, Hyundai, who recorded a huge 32 percent sales lift, led by the highly popular i30 small car.

This has clearly surprised many manufacturers and importers as dealers are reporting stock shortages throughout Australia.

Particularly affected are Honda dealers who have suffered a 60 percent reduction in their allocation this month.

June sales, therefore, may well depend on stock availability rather that pure demand


If you want to have some fun while driving and whispering “zoom zoom” to yourself, look no further than the Mazda 6.

This fun and versatile Mazda offering is a zippy, easy-to-drive offering that features decent gas mileage, a roomy interior and an updated and sporty look.

But let’s consider first things first – How does it look? While most of us consider the business end of things like gas mileage, safety and reliability, all of us first consider how a car looks. If it’s ugly to our tastes, we pass it by.

Fortunately, the Mazda 6 is a cute and sporty offering. If you want to really add a sporty look, opt for the spoiler, which gives the impression that the car goes fast. If you’re a bit more sedate, nix the spoiler in favor of a look that’s a bit more business like and clean.

Either way, the look is good. Next, let’s consider safety. Fortunately for those speed-loving Mazda drivers, the 6 rates tops in safety areas, and grips the road well.

What else does the Mazda 6 offer? How about a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic? True speed demons will appreciate the 6-speed manual (which also provides better gas mileage), but the 5-speed automatic is also a breeze to drive.

The 2.3 litre, 4-cylinder engine is designed for solid handling and superior performance. Because Mazda is all about the “zoom zoom” and the drive, Mazda engineers provided this car with a double wishbone front suspension that provides solid handling.

But the inside is not forgotten. Here, you’ll find comfortable seating to go with the solid ride. Controls can be a bit hard to find and maneuver while driving, but most drivers find they can ignore that in favor of the fun drive the Mazda 6 provides. This car is often ranked just below the Honda Accord in most surveys, but Mazda 6 drivers say they’d rank it just at the same level, and with a slightly lower price tag.


Perhaps the best thing about Toyota trucks is their ability provides all the necessary truck elements while still feeling like a car.

That’s not to say the Toyota Hilux truck is anything less than capable. It truly stands apart in the truck world as a good-looking and more than functional entry in the truck category. But there’s something else – it’s attractive and comfortable too.

Long the domain of the farmer and tradesman, the Toyota Hilux has evolved into a truck that just as easily takes the businessman to work as well.

The new incarnation offers an array of engine sizes, from a 2.7 litre 4 cylinder to a solid 4.0 litre V6. All are smooth and quiet. Take it off road, or down the freeway and your ride will be smooth and largely bump-free. There is a wide array of choices when outfitting your Hilux, an optional 5-speed automatic among them.

Inside, this beast offers a sense of quiet refinement, or as much refinement as one can expect in a truck. Most riders say it’s just as comfortable as any Toyota, but with the extra oomph that comes from riding higher and taller than you do in other Toyotas.

This Toyota offers fancy door trims, as many cup and bottle holders as you might need for that long work day, and an agreeable and easy-to-read dash.

Perhaps best of all, this interior offers many of the upgrades we have come to expect in our sedans, but here the truck offers them in abundance. From a MP3-ready stereo system to leather-trimmed interior, the element of “car” is there, though in the body of this most capable truck. The 15-inch alloy wheels add a sporty touch.